- The Washington Times - Friday, August 11, 2000

A person of color

The Rev. Jesse Jackson Thursday referred to Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman as a person "of color" who was chosen to be the Democratic vice-presidential candidate as the result of "affirmative action."

"Jewish Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans and other people of color have faced glass ceilings on key positions in national service," Mr. Jackson said in an op-ed piece about the Connecticut senator in The Washington Post.

"The effect has often been a quota of zero. President Jimmy Carter helped remove that ceiling and allowed us to benefit from Gen. Colin Powell's talents. Vice President Gore has likewise rejected a history of exclusion and taken affirmative action to break down a religious barrier."

Late, late apology

CBS has apologized for a violent anti-George W. Bush message that flashed briefly on the screen during the "The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn" last week.

The phrase "Snipers wanted" was shown last Friday across footage of Mr. Bush accepting his nomination as the Republican presidential candidate at the party's Philadelphia convention, the Associated Press reports.

"This graphic, which was not accompanied by any remarks from Mr. Kilborn, should not have been included in the telecast and is not consistent with our broadcast standards," CBS said in a statement Wednesday.

The network called the display "an inappropriate and regrettable graphic," adding that CBS and program producer Worldwide Pants Inc. "deeply regret this incident." The company said it would take appropriate action.

A Bush spokesman said the candidate accepted the apology.

Worldwide Pants, David Letterman's production company, also produces "The Late Show with David Letterman," which airs immediately before Mr. Kilborn's daily show.

The phrase concerning Mr. Bush appeared on the screen during a segment of the show called "In the News," which features photos, video clips and Mr. Kilborn's commentary on current events.

The Clinton convention

Bill and Hillary Clinton plan to spend twice as much time in Los Angeles as Democratic presidential nominee-to-be Al Gore, "basking in the spotlight and raising millions of dollars for their own political projects," the New York Times reports.

"By the end of the Democratic convention week, the Clintons will have raised far more money than the vice president $4 million anticipated for the first lady's New York Senate bid at a star-studded concert Saturday night and at least $10 million for Mr. Clinton's presidential library at a brunch that Barbra Streisand will hold Sunday at her compound in Malibu. Each of 50 couples at the brunch has committed at least $100,000, and some more than $1 million, to the president's library in Little Rock, Ark.," reporters Don Van Natta Jr. and John M. Broder said.

The reporters added: "Some Gore aides and senior Democratic fund-raisers are angry about the Clinton-heavy convention schedule, saying they are concerned the Clinton events will siphon off Hollywood money that would be better spent assisting the Gore-Lieberman ticket."

Oops

Brit Hume of the Fox News Channel has corrected a news story picked up by this column.

"Last time, we reported that despite Al Gore's insistence in an interview with Tom Brokaw that he agreed at the time with Joe Lieberman's famous speech calling President Clinton's behavior with Monica Lewinsky 'immoral,' we could find no such agreement," Mr. Hume said Wednesday night.

"Further research, however, has shown that he called the president's conduct, said Mr. Gore, 'indefensible' in September, even before Lieberman's speech, and that he called it 'wrong' the next month. We stand corrected."

2 Senate races

Republican Sen. William V. Roth Jr. continues to gain on Democratic Gov. Thomas R. Carper in their Senate race in Delaware, Roll Call Reports. At the same time, Democrat Bill Nelson has extended his lead over Republican Rep. Bill McCollum in the Senate race in Florida.

"A University of Delaware survey of 365 registered voters taken at the end of July showed Carper leading Roth by 2 [percentage] points, 45 [percent] to 43 percent, with 12 percent undecided," reporter Rachel Van Dongen writes.

"Earlier University of Delaware surveys have shown Roth, the Finance [Committee] chairman but one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents in the country, trailing Carper by as much as 13 points. In February, Carper was leading Roth 51 [percent] to 38 percent, while in May, Carper was leading by 4 points, 45 [percent] to 41 percent. But the number of undecided voters has remained consistent throughout, at 12 to 13 percent of the electorate."

In Florida, Mr. McCollum lost ground even though rival Republican Tom Gallagher has dropped out of the race.

"Nelson led McCollum, 45 [percent] to 34 percent, according to a survey of 608 registered voters conducted July 17 to 26 by Florida Voter, an independent polling firm. Fifteen percent of respondents were undecided. The margin of error was 4 percent," reporter John Mercurio said.

"The last Florida Voter poll, conducted before Gallagher withdrew in mid-April, showed Nelson leading McCollum 40 [percent] to 32 percent. At that time, 22 percent were undecided."

Historic mistake

"Economic populism is a dead and discredited theme in American politics. For Al Gore to be wrapping his campaign and his convention around 'us' vs. 'them' rhetoric is a mistake of historic proportions," Dick Morris writes.

"… It sounds so good in speeches. It energizes the candidate. It wows them at the convention. It draws applause and cheers from the faithful. It even wins primaries. It provides an easy way to show passion and commitment. But economic populism doesn't work in getting swing voters. They recognize it for the simplistic pandering that it is," Mr. Morris said in a column in the New York Post.

He added: "But Robert Shrum, Gore's populist consultant, will not be held down. He and his leftist colleagues are likely to continue to insist on dragging the candidate into liberal class-warfare formulations that don't work and haven't worked for 30 years."

Unhappy voting bloc

Abed Hammoud, president of the Arab American Political Action Committee and a Michigan delegate for Vice President Al Gore, told USA Today that Arab-Americans he has spoken to are not reacting well to Mr. Gore's selection of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman as his vice-presidential nominee.

"Everybody looks at me and says we're not voting Democrat. We're not voting for Al Gore," Mr. Hammoud, a Wayne County prosecutor, said after visiting heavily Arab-American precincts during the Michigan primary Tuesday.

Mr. Hammoud, who remains loyal to Mr. Gore, said Arab-Americans estimated at 4 percent of the vote in Michigan are not upset by the fact that Mr. Lieberman is Jewish, but are unhappy with his strong support for Israel.

Run, Joe, Run

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman will still seek a third term in the Senate, even as he pursues the vice presidency as Al Gore's running mate, an aide confirmed to the Associated Press Thursday.

Spokesman Dan Gerstein said Mr. Lieberman considered dropping out, but decided it "would cause a lot of instability and potentially hurt the party if he took his name off the ballot."

The decision, while expected, creates a dilemma for Democrats worried about losing the seat, and an opportunity for Republicans who say Mr. Lieberman's decision shows a lack of faith in Mr. Gore's prospects.

A July poll found Mr. Lieberman with a 57-point lead over his little-known Republican challenger, Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano.

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